August 06, 2012 14:00
by Shelley Nolan Freesland
AWR Communciation Director
This week, Adventist World Radio has begun podcasting programs in the Georgian language for the first time. The Seventh-day Adventist Church presence in the country of Georgia is very small, with only a little more than 300 members. But Georgian Adventists Emzari and Eka Chrikishvili have taken on the responsibility of writing and recording programs, to share the gospel with their people.
To start with, the programs are focusing on health, family topics, and childhood education. “The Orthodox Church is dominant, and people are very traditional,” says Vigen Khachatryan, Media Center director of the Transcaucasus Union Mission. “Local radio stations provide only entertainment-oriented programs, and there has never been any Adventist radio broadcasting. We would like to be heard on local stations, but so far it is impossible. We will try our best to find at least one local radio station to broadcast our programs, by the grace of God ”
Georgia was formerly under the Soviet Union, but now its 4.5 million citizens are working to establish their own democratic system. In the past, the country suffered from chronic energy shortages, but today it is successfully upgrading its sizable hydropower capacity and building oil and gas pipelines that will capitalize on Georgia’s strategic location between Europe and Asia. Although unemployment remains high, the government is making inroads in its anti-corruption efforts.
The AWR producers’ goal is to provide 20 programs a month to AWR, which will podcast the programs through its website – awr.org – and iTunes. “The Internet is a very powerful means of evangelism, so we are very happy to work with AWR to make these programs available not only to Georgians throughout the country but also around the world,” says Pastor Khachatryan. “We are looking forward to developing our own website, through which we hope to attract additional listeners and interact with them.”
AWR president Dowell Chow says, “It is exciting to see that just a few months after our advisory earlier this year in Tbilisi, the capital city, producers Emzari and Eka are now recording programs to reach the people in their own Georgian language! This has been made possible through the visionary leadership and support of the officers of the Trans-Caucasus Union Mission and the Georgian Mission. A new day has come to Georgia, and AWR is happy to be a partner in this venture.”